A reaction I'm going to be running to determine the efficacy of a catalyst uses benzaldehyde and butyl acrylate. The butyl acrylate is polymerization inhibited with hydroquinone monomethyl ether (MEHQ). The MEHQ requires a 5-21% O2 by volume concentration to remain effective and avoid explosive polymerization. However, the benzaldehyde undergoes oxidation with O2 to yield benzoic acid. I'm unsure of the rate at which the benzaldehyde is oxidized, but the reaction duration will be 2+ days, and I have reason to believe from past experiments that there would be a significant amount of oxidation taking place in that time. The problem is not that the benzoic acid would hurt the reaction - it would most likely serve to expedite it. However, the if we're seeking to determine the efficacy of a proposed catalyst, the benzoic acid would be an x factor - we wouldn't be able to determine whether the benzoic acid was necessary for the reaction to proceed or not. The reaction would be performed small-scale (~5g total) and neat - benzaldehyde, butyl acrylate, catalyst.
Any ideas on potential ways to run this? Or any comments in general?